This afternoon, I attended a sweet baby shower for a friend who is pregnant with her first baby (a boy!), due in about a month. I say “about a month” because we all know that the coming of a baby can be likened to the coming of Messiah. No one knows the day or the hour.
As usual in the circle in which we move, we were all asked to prepare words of wisdom for the soon-to-be new mom (or should I say just, the new mom? is she already technically a mom because a baby is living within her? hmmm…).
What do we think about that, I ask? I mean, the words of wisdom part. Of course, I’m sure every new mom is dying for someone to tell her the tips and tricks to raising the perfect child, bypassing the Terrible Twos, teaching a child how to read by the time they’re three, and/or potty-training a child before they’re four months old. Yes. I’m sure every mom wants those words of wisdom. I just think it’s difficult to ask a roomful of women to do that, because everyone’s opinion is so subjective and, quite frankly, can be radically different depending on their experience.
And then, what about the rest of us? The ones who don’t have any kids? What words of wisdom can we possibly offer? To speak platitudes on clinging to G-d throughout a difficult labor or how the rod of discipline is the way to train up a child, well…I think it just sounds silly coming from someone who has never faced any of it. My thoughts on how to deal with labor pains have sometimes conjured up chuckles and head-shakes from real moms. So there isn’t much for us non-parents to say. All we can do is offer, “Hey, I’m praying for you!” But no words of wisdom.
That’s ok, though. I think a pregnant woman can get tired of hearing everyone else’s opinion on how she should handle the rest of her pregnancy, or how she should get through labor, or even how she should train her baby to sleep through the night. I think sometimes she just needs a shoulder to lean on or a friend with whom to walk the greenway. And that can be me. 🙂